Sunday, April 28, 2019

Make Your Own Taboo Game

Have you played the game Taboo? 

You try to get your team to guess the word at the top by giving oral clues BUT you cannot use any of the words listed on the card.

I had my junior high students make a history version of this game but you could make it for any topic!

Click Taboo link HERE for the template I made in Google Slides.

I set it to automatically make a copy of my template for you so you can edit. Click on the words to edit them.

I had my students work as partners and write the word/name down on the board so no one did the same term. When the page was complete, they printed and cut them out so we had a class deck. Making the cards was a way to study in disguise. They had to know all about the topic in order to figure out what clue words would be needed.

If you have younger students you may want to make the cards yourself. You could review math vocabulary, science terms, etc. I am teaching 3rd and 4th grade math this summer and I'm thinking about making a set with a number at the top, say 10. Then the taboo "words" could be 2x5, 8+2, 12-2, 5+5.

Tips for playing:
1. You can play with any number of people. I split my class of 16 into 4 teams of 4 and had two games going but I could have done one giant game.
2. Sit in a circle with players alternating from each team. A player from the other team looks over your shoulder to make sure you don't say one of the forbidden words. If a taboo word is said the "checker" can say'"Buzz" or you could use a real buzzer if you have one.
3. Cards may also be "passed" if the clue giver feels like it will be too time consuming or difficult. These passed cards just go back to the end of the deck.
4. We have iPads so one student is in charge of setting the 1 minute timer for each person. You could also use an egg timer or sand timer from a different game.
5. I also gave a small whiteboard and marker to a student to be the score keeper. Alternatively, everyone could keep the cards they got right and add the score up once everyone has had a chance to play. I had my group keep going until all the cards were guessed.

I'd love to hear if you try it with your class. My students thought it was really fun.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

What do you have your class do for Mother's Day?

How about making a gift book using the poem If You Give a Mom a Muffin, patterned after the Laura Numeroff books. 

We read the whole poem, then work on two pages a day so it doesn't get overwhelming. We brainstorm ideas for each page and I draw one of them using the document camera. I encourage the students to use their own creativity but those who find drawing intimidating are comforted to have my model.
I include drawing ideas for each page in the download but they often come up with their hilarious ideas.

Mom is still asleep so her eyes are closed.

The gift bags are personalized, too!
This student knew tried to replicate her mom's pillowcase!
I buy the muffins from Costco but some buyers tell me they have the students make those, too. 
I've also thought about adding Starbucks Via packets. 
Image result for via coffee
The hardest part for the students is picking which muffin flavor their mom would like best.
 I have had students admit to picking their favorite flavor in hopes Mom will share!

I also include alternative wording using Aunt, Grandma, and cocoa.

You can get all my directions and templates in my store by clicking HERE.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Beginning, Ending, and Vowel Sounds Game

Does your school use standardized testing?

Here is a game I made to use in my small groups to practice beginning, ending, and vowel sounds in the same format it is asked in our test (CTP from ERB).

 I show them the card as I ask the question.

I cut apart these boards and laminated one for each player. I used mini erasers for playing pieces.You could have the students take turns or ask everyone to write their answer on a whiteboard and reveal at the same time. 
This also practices paying attention to details and we talked about not falling for their tricks (i.e. answers have same beginning sound but you were asked to find the matching ending sound.)

This game is fun and great practice regardless of what assessments you use. You can find it in my store if you are interested.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Pysanky Eggs

These are two of my favorite books to read before Easter. I love Patricia Polacco books!
In both books the main characters make Pysanky (or Ukrainian) Eggs.  We admire how intricate and beautiful they are. We note the geometric shapes, flowery vines, animals, and repetitive patterns.

HERE is a quick YouTube video about the process of making them.

I then let the kids design their own Pysanky-inspired egg. They drew the design with sharpie on white construction paper. I showed them that they could use crayon-resist if they wanted to. Then I let them loose with watercolor paints.

Sure brighten up the room!


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

FREE Pizza Fractions Craft

Have you taught fractions yet? I have FREE templates and directions for this Pizza Fractions Craft that reinforces our Common Core vocabulary.

Here is a my previous post:

Fractions make me hungry. So many of my explanations and word problems had to do with food this week! As we delve into the Common Core,  we are finding the need to supplement more. I felt my students were understanding fractions pretty well but that the vocabulary of fourths and quarters needed reinforcement. I remembered seeing a pizza craft on Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten so I adapted it to fit my standard.

CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.3 Partition circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, fourths, and quarters, and use the phrases half of, fourth of, and quarter of. Describe the whole as two of, or four of the shares. Understand for these examples that decomposing into more equal shares creates smaller shares.  

I provided a template for the crust and cheese but not for the toppings. I demonstrated how to make all the toppings and let them loose with 1 1/2 x 12 strips of the correct colors. They did a great job.

To get a FREE copy of my templates and more detailed directions click {HERE.} I changed the frame on the writing piece so it would pop more.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Save the Earth! Book Club Packet

Ready Freddy Save the Earth! is a great book to read around Earth Day.  I called my reading groups book clubs and I've made many packets to go with novels at all different levels. You could also read the book as a read aloud and still do some of the activities like the Earth Day Challenge I mention below.

22 comprehension and vocabulary questions

A thinking map using adjectives to describe a character.

In the story, the students are given this challenge sheet so I made one for our students, too!

When the characters complete the challenge they get pins so I made these sticker labels for my students.
Only $3 in my TpT store if you want to check it out.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Bunny Writing FREEBIE!

Need something for your writing center?

I included two different levels of directions and cute writing paper. My students really enjoyed the step-by-step drawing helper!

You can grab it here for FREE! 


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Easter Bunny Craftivity (Common Core) GIVEAWAY and a freebie

Since I don't teach first grade anymore,  I haven't been blogging. 
I really miss it but life circumstances change. 

Recently, my sister has been encouraging me to make things to help her kindergartener and I have been getting my creative mojo back. It feels good to make things that others find helpful.

Are there products that you'd like to see made? Leave me a comment and I will pick a lucky winner to be sent my Easter Bunny Craftivity (make sure you leave your email.) If I end up using your idea to make a product, I will send it to you for free.


This craftivity includes templates for a bunny peek over, two picture book suggestions, and a choice of three writing activities aligned to the Common Core.

Picture book: The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
1. Opinion: Do you think the Easter Bunny picked the best egg? W1.1
2. Text-to-Text: How did The Easter Egg remind you of Horton Hatches the Egg? RL1.9

Picture Book: If I Were the Easter Bunny by Louise Gardner
3. Narrative: Students write what they would do if they were the Easter Bunny. W1.3

 I like to use scrapbook paper for the bows to kick the cuteness up a notch.
 The kids love making the cheeks by rubbing pink chalk on a cotton ball and then rubbing the cotton ball in a circle. Apparently eyelashes are also important. ;-)

Click HERE to get this craftivity.

Did you grab my FREE ABC order cut and paste while you were there?